Darren McGregor insists Hibs have more than benefitted from Hearts’ ‘shame’ of releasing Josh Doig.
Left-wing back Doig has become one of the biggest prospects in the Premiership amid a stunning breakthrough campaign for the Leith side after being axed at Tynecastle in summer 2019.
English giants Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal were recently said to be keeping tabs on the 18-year-old and Hibs last week protected their investment in the player by signing Doig on a new deal until 2025.
Experienced defender McGregor has been blown away by Doig’s progress this season but admits he is scratching his head over Hearts’ decision to show his team-mate the door.
He said: “Hearts let Doigy go a season or two ago.
“Shame on them but we’ve definitely benefitted from that.
“I can’t see why you would look at someone like Doigy and think that he wouldn’t be good enough to play in your first team, just incredible.
“He’s 18, 19 this year, and I could not tell you half the things I got up to when I was 19.
“This guy is coming in here everyday, he is one of the best guys in training – athletically, physically.
“He is one of the best technically and he has a really bright future. He is a level headed guy as well which is half the battle.”
McGregor, meanwhile, has also praised fellow defender Ryan Porteous for his response since being dropped.
The Scotland squad player was initially taken out of the team at the end of January amid intense speculation over his future after Millwall failed with a reported £1 million bid.
Porteous has been on the bench for the last five games, coming on in two of them, but McGregor admits the 21-year-old has refused to wallow in self-pity.
McGregor, to Hibs Pod, added: “Porto and Doigy are among a number of young guys we’ve got that are way ahead of me, way ahead of the curve in terms of where they are physically and technically.
“Everyone goes on about the technical and the physical aspect and that will get you in the door but a lot of the time it’s about how you are, how you are about the place, how you are as a person, how you deal with adversity.
“As an example, there is Porto been put on the bench for a few games.
“But his attitude throughout that period has been brilliant.
“He has been supporting the guys and this is like a 21-year-old, he could have quite easily taken the huff but it shows you the character he’s got and that will definitely stand him in good stead the older he gets.”
McGregor also discussed how the managers he has worked under have influenced his career.
On ex-Easter Road boss Lennon, who resigned as Celtic manager last week, the former Rangers, St Mirren and Cowdenbeath player said: “Neil Lennon a lot of the time gave some of the best team talks you’ve ever heard because they were totally off the cuff, unscripted.
“And the same way he could berate you and call every name under the sun, he could also praise you, so you did get a real lift from him as a person and how motivational he was.”
Speaking about Hibs boss Ross, he said: “The one we’ve got at present, the gaffer, is such a well rounded man, if you like, a very good speaker, good organiser and a good guy.
“He’s been instrumental in the way I look at the game.”